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Govt may privatise barytes mines

Govt may privatise barytes mines
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Highlights

Even as the State government is making a move to institute an inquiry to fix the responsibility on officers in the lease of Mangampet barytes mines, minors are up in arms against the “vindictive action.” The government, suspecting that some officials in Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) conspired in the lease of barytes mines to a select few, scrapped the lease of the mines. Now it is considering ordering an inquiry into the role of officials of APMDC.

Kadapa: Even as the State government is making a move to institute an inquiry to fix the responsibility on officers in the lease of Mangampet barytes mines, minors are up in arms against the “vindictive action.” The government, suspecting that some officials in Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) conspired in the lease of barytes mines to a select few, scrapped the lease of the mines. Now it is considering ordering an inquiry into the role of officials of APMDC. The inquiry is suspected to be aimed to take on YSRCP leaders.

  • Reports suggest that govt is planning to hand over the mines in Kadapa district to a corporate company
  • It has high demand in Gulf countries
  • Scrapping of lease has made a large number of workers jobless

Meanwhile, the scrapping of the lease of mines has pushed the minors into poverty and hunger. The mills depending on the mineral have also been closed and it has thrown a large number of workers out of work. Barytes reserves abound in Mangampet under Obulavaripalle. The mines spread over 225 acres.

The APMDC is securing 95 per cent revenue from mines. One estimate shows that as many as 49 million tonnes barytes reserves are available in these mines. The APMDC is exporting not less than 1 lakh metric tonnes of mineral to several countries. It is securing a good amount of foreign exchange.

Of the total production of barytes, the government is exporting 60 per cent to foreign countries and allotting 40 per cent to local mills. The mills used to provide livelihood to about 3,000 workers. Now there are rumours that conspiracy is afoot to privatise the barytes mines and hand it over on a platter to a biggest corporate company.

If the mines are privatised, the APMDC’s existence itself will be threatened. According to sources, a corporate company has set its eyes on the mineral in view of its high demand in Gulf countries. The barytes is described as “black gold” and it fetches between $ 135 and 145 a tonne in international market.

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